Knowle Library and the Knowle Society’s Local History Centre continue to work together to celebrate local heritage. Visit before December 13th and you can view two exhibitions and buy a DVD filled with footage from the last century.
The first exhibition, on the Library’s Ground Floor, is entitled ‘Historic Knowle’ and looks at a range of subjects around the village. The visitor can discover which of Kenilworth Road’s terraced houses sports a Victorian Jubilee plaque, used to be part of the Bulls Head Inn and subsequently housed the Sergeant next to his Police Station. Alongside this are photographs and detail about more prominent historic properties such as Knowle Hall and a village centrepiece, the magnificent 15th century Guild House.
Meanwhile, upstairs, in the Knowle Society run Local History Centre, the display cases present ‘Then and Now’. This is a photographic comparison of the village today and how it was. From Chester House, the Library itself, in 1894 to the junction of Lodge and Longdon Roads in 1927, times have changed and the pictures show how.
After that, the Library counter has take home nostalgia in the form of a new Knowle Society DVD, ‘Knowle Celebrations’, which contains over an hour of extracts from twenty-three films made by Mr F G Ratcliff. The earliest shows the British Legion Parade estimated at 1930 and the final one, the opening of Knowle Primary School in 1966. In between are the celebrations King George V’s Jubilee and VE Day, a village Tug’o’War, several Carnivals and more.
The DVD provides a fascinating insight into community life in decades past. There are also some remarkable glimpses of the main streets of Solihull Town Centre from the 1960s as demolition was in hand to prepare for the construction of Mell Square.
Janet Erzen, the new Chair of the Local History Committee, said ‘Knowle Society has a tremendous archive of village memories and the Library, the oldest building on the High Street, is the ideal place to showcase them.’